South America Sensations - Peru to Panama Expedition

South America Sensations - Peru to Panama Expedition

South America Sensations - Peru to Panama Expedition

South America Sensations - Peru to Panama Expedition

Travel information 14 days MS Fram
Departure
31 March 2024
Price from
7190 €
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

14-day expedition from Lima to Colón with the Andean Plateau, Peruvian deserts and the tropical forests of Ecuador and Colombia 

Highlights of the Altiplano  

Wander around Lima’s UNESCO-listed centre and visit the pre-Inca tombs of Sillustani before heading to mighty Lake Titicaca, the largest high-altitude lake on Earth. You’ll then begin an unforgettable journey along the Altiplano to mystical Machu Picchu and beautiful Cusco.  

Cruise north along the Pacific coast 

Meeting your ship in Lima, you’ll cruise up the Pacific coast, discovering the ancient kingdoms of Trujillo, colourful Puerto Bolívar and the surf beaches of Manta along the way. You’ll experience vibrant Afro-Colombian culture in Bahía Solano, before heading through the legendary Panama Canal. 

South America Sensations - Peru to Panama Expedition South America Sensations - Peru to Panama Expedition
  • Day 1
    Lima, Peru

    Lima’s UNESCO treasures  

    Start your adventure in Lima, 'The City of Kings'   

    An exciting cocktail of cosmopolitan cool and ancient heritage, Lima is the perfect city to begin your adventure. See colourful murals, bustling cafés and contemporary art museums in the bright, bohemian area of Barranco. 

    Lima's historical centre is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. It's a jewel of Spanish architecture, with colonial-era churches and monasteries, and elegant mansions. You'll also see Lima's Inca heritage in the ruins of ceremonial pyramids Huaca Pucllana and Huaca Huallamarca. 

    Known as the food capital of South America, you can choose from gourmet restaurants to unmissable street food. We recommend trying Peru's national dish ceviche, fish marinated in lime juice, onion and chilli.    

    • Included Panoramic Tour of Lima
    Day 1
    Lima, Peru

    Lima’s UNESCO treasures  

  • Day 2
    Sillustani tombs  

    Visit Sillustani tombs

    Fly to Juliaca and visit the Sillustani tombs  

    Your day starts with a flight to Juliaca. Once you arrive, we’ll take you to the Sillustani tombs, a pre-Inca burial place that’s surrounded by Lake Umayo, where you’ll enjoy a guided tour. 

    The tombs or chullas are tower-like structures built above ground by the ancient Colla people, some as tall as 39 feet and big enough to hold entire families. Enjoy a picnic lunch by the shores of the lake in this peaceful and enigmatic place. 

    After exploring this archaeological marvel, you’ll continue on to your hotel in Puno on the banks for Lake Titicaca – your home for the next two nights.   

    Day 2
    Sillustani tombs  

    Visit Sillustani tombs

  • Day 3
    Lake Titicaca

    The Uro people of Lake Titicaca

    See handwoven islands on South America's largest lake   

    The sheer beauty of Lake Titicaca will amaze you. You'll visit the rural community of Llachón, which has spectacular views over the lake. You’ll enjoy a guided kayaking tour on the peaceful, deep blue waters. You’ll also join a guided walk before joining a local family for a typical lunch.  

    Next, we'll go on a boat tour to reach the Uro people on their floating islands, shimmering golden in the sun. These otherworldly aquatic villages are woven from the reeds that grow in the lake. 

    At the end of the day, relax and reflect back at your hotel in Puno. 

    Day 3
    Lake Titicaca

    The Uro people of Lake Titicaca

  • Day 4
    The Altiplano Path

    The Altiplano Path

    Cross the awe-inspiring Andean Plateau    

    Enjoy an unforgettable journey across the northern Andean Plateau, or the Altiplano as it's known in Spanish.  

    The Altiplano is one of the world’s largest high plateaus and it sits at over 12,000 ft above sea level. The vast plain extends into Bolivia, northern Peru and southern Chile. During this full day of adventure, you’ll pass through breathtaking scenery and be awed by the imposing Andes.  

    Look out for the famous Pucara bulls perched on rooftops, enjoy lunch by the ancient rock formations of Tinajani, and watch out for wild llamas and alpacas on La Raya Pass, and marvel at the 15th century archaeological complex of Raqch'i. 

    Your journey ends with a comfortable overnight stay in Cusco. 

    Day 4
    The Altiplano Path

    The Altiplano Path

  • Day 5
    Machu Picchu 

    Mystical Machu Picchu 

    Explore the Lost City of the Incas   

    You’ll start your day with a transfer to Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley. Then we’ll board the deluxe Hiram Bingham train to Machu Picchu, enjoying brunch while the breathtaking Andean scenery rolls past. 

    Estimated to have been built around 1450, Machu Picchu was abandoned during the Spanish conquest. It was hidden by jungle for centuries, and only rediscovered in 1911. The Incas left no written records, so mystery surrounds this magnificent stronghold. Enjoy the trails around the ruins, admire the precision Inca stonework and maybe meet some of the friendly resident llamas.  

    After the day’s adventures, we’ll head back to Cusco for another relaxing overnight stay. 

    Day 5
    Machu Picchu 

    Mystical Machu Picchu 

  • Day 6
    Cusco

    Imperial Cusco

    Explore the centre of the Inca Empire   

    Before catching your flight to Lima, you’ll enjoy a guided tour of Cusco, the so-called Imperial City, and archaeological capital of South America.   

    Admire some of the finest examples of Inca architecture, las well as the Santo Domingo church, which was built on the Inca temple of Koricancha, and the Sacsayhuamán fortress, a 15th century ceremonial compound that boasts panoramic views of the city. Other tour highlights include a visit to the Sulca Textiles Museum and a stop at the main square to admire the stunning cathedral that dates back to Spanish colonial times. 

    You’ll then transfer to the airport and fly to Lima to meet your ship and begin your expedition cruise. 

    Day 6
    Cusco

    Imperial Cusco

  • Day 7
    Salaverry, Peru

    Trujillo and Chan Chan

    Discover Trujillo's ancient kingdoms       

    Salaverry is the gateway port to Peru’s third largest city and some fascinating archaeological sites. Colourful Trujillo boasts a Baroque cathedral, colonial churches and Neoclassical mansions, as well as one of the longest mosaic murals in the world. 

    Nearby, the vast ancient ruins of the Chimú city of Chan Chan date back to at least 900. On the other side of Trujillo, the mysterious Mochican pyramids of the Sun and the Moon pre-date even that. 

    Back on the ship, there will be a performance of traditional Peruvian dances for you to enjoy. 

    • Included Marinera Dance Show On board
    Day 7
    Salaverry, Peru

    Trujillo and Chan Chan

  • Day 8
    At sea

    Science and leisure

    Relaxation, research – or a bit of both     

    Your Pacific coast cruise continues as we head towards Ecuador. Soak up the scenery on deck, read a book by a window, and enjoy the onboard facilities.   

    The Expedition Team will continue their lectures in the Science Center, sharing their insights on topics such as Indigenous  communities and cultures, local geology and pre-Columbian history.  

    Back on deck, they’ll help you identify the seabirds that like to follow our ship. Our onboard photographer will also be on hand with tips on capturing birds in flight – and other expedition highlights – with your camera. 

    Day 8
    At sea

    Science and leisure

  • Day 9
    Bountiful Puerto Bolívar

    A bustling port with a charming atmosphere

    A bustling port with a charming atmosphere     

    We have a fruitful day ahead exploring Puerto Bolívar, a port in the city of Machala that exports coffee, cocoa, shrimp and masses of bananas. Shipping more of Ecuador’s ‘green gold’ than anywhere else in the country, Puerto Bolívar is dubbed ‘Banana Capital of the World.’ 

    Machala itself has all the charm you’d expect from a small coastal city, including friendly locals, cosy plazas and striking monuments. You can try fresh seafood at the harbour restaurants, and take in views of the mangrove swamps of Isla Jambeli. Then explore on foot the local markets, plazas and the Casa de la Cultura museum.  

    • Included Machala City Tour
    Day 9
    Bountiful Puerto Bolívar

    A bustling port with a charming atmosphere

  • Day 10
    Manta

    Made in Montecristi

    Discover the birthplace of Panama hats ... in Ecuador   

    We’ll dock at the port of Manta and visit the town of Montecristi. Known for its handicrafts, you can buy a stylish genuine Panama hat here, expertly handwoven from the leaves of the jipijapa tree.  

    Wander around this smart town and take a look at the imposing white church, or take in the colourful street art and murals. Returning to Manta, we’ll pay a visit to the archaeological museum. 

    • Included Manta and Montecristi Highlights
    Day 10
    Manta

    Made in Montecristi

  • Day 11
    Relax at sea

    Relax at sea

    Serenity at sea 

    It's not every day that you get the opportunity to seek Neptune's blessing. We'll do just that in a traditional – and somewhat fun – ceremony as we cross the Equator in the early morning. 

    Your day cruising to Colombia can be filled with onboard adventure. Go out on deck and look out for wildlife – whales can often be seen in these waters. Your Expedition Team can be found in the Science Center.  

    While you’re there, why not find out about the Citizen Science projects we’re running. Or if you’d simply like to relax and enjoy the journey, try out a hot tub or settle into the comfort of the Explorer Lounge & Bar and watch the world pass by. Later, a spot of stargazing from the deck is a lovely way to wind up your day. 

    Day 11
    Relax at sea

    Relax at sea

  • Bahía Solano, Colombia

    Afro-Colombian culture

    Music, dancing and rainforest walks at Bahía Solano 

    Your day in Bahía Solano begins with a town walk hosted by members of the local Afro-Colombian community. 

    You'll be greeted by students with a traditional song and, later, with a performance of their unique Afro-Colombian music and dance. In between, they’ll tell you about the town and their culture. 

    Why not hike through tropical rainforest at the botanical gardens. At this 170-acre reserve, you can enjoy a guided walk where you’ll learn about the local flora and fauna, and important conservations projects to protect it. 

    • Included Bahia Solano Town Walk
    Bahía Solano, Colombia

    Afro-Colombian culture

  • Day 13
    Panama, Canal

    Through the Panama Canal

    Navigate one of the world's greatest engineering feats 

    Early in the morning, we'll enter the Panama Canal, a complex network of huge, ingenious locks stretching 50 miles through natural and man-made waterways. If weather allows, our Expedition Team will invite you on deck and tell the story of this ambitious project. 

    Halfway through our transit, we'll enter the Gatun Lake section, which is one of the world's largest artificial lakes and is surrounded by verdant rainforest. Keep an eye out for crocodiles, alligators, monkeys and even sloths. 

    After around twelve hours, we'll emerge into the Pacific, passing from one great ocean to another. 

    Day 13
    Panama, Canal

    Through the Panama Canal

  • Day 14
    Colón, Panama

    Disembarking in Colón

    Bright city lights amid a lush rainforest landscape   

    Your South American expedition cruise concludes in Colón, which stands beside the portal to the Panama Canal on the Atlantic coast. It's a bustling cosmopolitan centre with hot springs, a thriving handicraft scene and wonderful local restaurants.  

    Although your cruise has come to an end, if you're up for more adventures you can join an optional Post-Programme.

    Whatever’s next for you, we wish you a safe onward journey and look forward to seeing you on your next adventure. 

    Day 14
    Colón, Panama

    Disembarking in Colón

Departures

2024

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December
March:
31.

What's included

Included in your voyage

Land Programme: Lake Titicaca and Machu Picchu/Peru (before the cruise) 

  • One night at a hotel in Lima, including breakfast 
  • Two nights at a hotel in Puno and two nights at a hotel in Cusco, including half board  
  • Picnic lunch on Days 2 and 4, set lunch on Days 3, 5 and 6. 
  • Flights in economy class from Lima to Juliaca and Cusco to Lima 
  • All transfers, excursions and train rides as described, including an English-speaking guides 
  • Entrance fee as listed in the programme 

Expedition Cruise 

  • A stay in a cabin of your choice 
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner including beverages* in restaurant Aune  
  • À la carte restaurant Lindstrøm included for suite guests 
  • Complimentary tea and coffee 
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board† 
  • Complimentary reusable water bottle 
  • English-speaking Expedition Team who organise and accompany activities on board and ashore 
  • Range of included activities 

*House beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water 

†Please note there is very limited Wi-Fi and phone signal in the remote areas we travel to, and streaming is not supported.  

Onboard Activities 

  • In-depth lectures and discussions hosted by experts on the Expedition Team 
  • Full use of our Science Center, small library and advanced biological and geological equipment 
  • Citizen Science Programme where you can assist with ongoing scientific research 
  • Photography tips and techniques for capturing landscape and wildlife from our onboard professional photographer 
  • Use of the ship’s hot tubs, panoramic sauna and indoor gym 
  • Informal gatherings with the crew for daily briefings 

Landing Activities 

  • Escorted landing with small expedition boats 
  • Loan of boots, trekking poles and all equipment for activities 
  • Complimentary wind- and water-resistant expedition jacket 
  • Expedition photographers on hand to assist you 

Notes 

  • All planned activities are subject to weather conditions 
  • Excursions and activities are subject to change 
  • Please make sure you meet all entry and boarding requirements  
  • No gratuities expected 
  • The land programme in Peru takes place at high altitudes. Lake Titicaca´s altitude is at approx. 12,500 ft and the city of Cusco is at approx. 11,100 ft and may require a certain level of physical fitness. The order of sights may vary. 

Not included in your voyage

  • International flights 
  • Travel insurance 
  • Luggage handling 
  • Optional shore excursions with our local partners 
  • Optional small-group activities with our Expedition Team 
MS Fram in Greenland
Photo: Stian Klo
MS Fram in Antarctica
Photo: Sandra Walser
Your ship

MS Fram

Year built 2007
Year of refurbishment 2022
Shipyard Fincantieri, Italy
Passenger capacity 250 (200 in Antarctica)
Beds 276
Gross tonnage 11 647 T
Length 114 m
Beam 20.2 m
Speed 13 knots
MS Fram in Greenland
Photo: Stian Klo

The original Fram was the most famous explorer ship of its time, and the achievements of her expeditions are unparalleled. MS Fram brings on the heritage of the original Fram, using the most advanced technology to make her exceptionally well suited for expedition voyages in Polar Regions.

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Icebergs – one of many favorite photo motives when on an expedition with MS Fram
Photo: Tomas Mauch

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